Skin & Fragrance Blog by Thom Watson

Normal-Combination Skin, Clarins, Enlarged & Blocked Pores, Sensitive Skin, Serums & Treatments

First Impressions: Clarins Double Serum

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Unless you’ve been living in a box over the last few months, you will have undoubtedly seen posters and signage for the new Clarins Double Serum. But is it really worth it? There’s been a lot of hype surrounding this launch with an inordinate amount of PR, and I want to know if it makes the grade!

Clarins Double Serum has been designed as a lightweight oil and water serum for all skin types that the Clarins website proclaims as delivering nothing short of Doctor Who-style regeneration. I’m a bit grumpy over some of the wording that on the surface appears to make claims but covers themselves if the product actually delivers naff all with marketing phrases such as “skin looks firmer”, “wrinkles appear smoother”, “pores appear less visible”. Come on Clarins, you’re better than that. Irritatingly in my press release, there are some fabulous consumer trial results as well as clinical results from Ex Vivo and In Vitro ingredient testing. Why haven’t these been published on the site instead?

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What a plethora of ingredients, here are your 20 promised extracts (forgive me as I have lifted these from the site): Katafray bark extract, hyaluronic acid : moisturising. Organic perilla and macadamia oils: nourish the skin. Organic quinoa and green tea extract: protective action. Maritime pine extract, organic rosehip oil: oxygenise the skin. Organic green banana extract, thyme and bocoa: regenerating action. The base is a mineral oil which as always has raised a few eyebrows but it’s not something I’m particularly concerned over.

The product is designed to deliver hydration, oxygenation, nutrition, protection and regeneration as you will see from the list above.The naturally-derived hyaluronic acid (a very powerful moisture-bonding agent) is double weighted and is reportedly more effectively delivered into the skin. There’s also a new-gen peptide crammed in there, Survixyl IS, a UV and environmental protectant.

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Clinical Ex Vivo and In Vitro Test Results

The clinical tests for hydration found that there was 71.92% increase in hydration after 6 hours (I’m guessing compared to using nothing at all, but could be wrong). For Nutrition, In Vitro testing (Test Tube experimentation) saw significant improvements in lipid, protein and ‘glucid’ penetration. Now the word glucid and glucides only seems to exist in French, but I figure it’s referencing glucose and sugar absorption. Oxygenation saw an increase of 18% in cellular CO² release. Protection saw an increase of 140% in the stimulation of the skin’s natural anti-oxidisation defences. Finally in an Ex Vivo test (extracted tissues) a 915% increase in Collagen I synthesis. Finally consumer testing revealed results ranging from 73% to 88% improvement of skin concerns across the board (wrinkles, complexion, smoothness, elasticity, radiance and pores).

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Do I think it’s up to much?

I’m sure you want to know what I thought of it right? Well for my combination skin, it sinks in like a dream. I’d been using it since just before the launch and although I don’t have any real wrinkles just yet, my often hit and miss skin tone has definitely improved. My skin looks more uniform and feels softer to the touch. As far as a reduction in pore size, I have been using Clinique’s Pore Refining Solutions which I rate highly and would more likely put my improved pore size and texture down to those products. But with the Double Serum, everything looks fresher and feels softer and these are definitely premium results. Even if you could prove to me that there were no physical differences (which I doubt you could) I’d argue as it’s one of those products that feels like it’s doing something!

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Packaging and Use

On a more superficial note, the packaging is rather gorgeous and fits in well with revamped Clarins product lines. The front section feels as if it could be glass but I’ve got the sneak suspicion it’s just reinforced resin or acrylic. The back is opaque, as I assume this part of the serum contains sensitive and light reactive ingredients (or that’s what they want you to think). Just two pumps both morning and night, smoothed into the palms then pressed into the skin is all it takes. Apply the serum to both the face (including the eye area) as well as the neck. If you have facial hair, take a little extra time to massage the product in, but I’m sure you’ll be used to doing that.

In fear of going over-board, I’ll leave it here as I could go on and on about this product all day, I really love it. I hope this has been balanced reading and you can decide for yourself if it’s for you, but I’m in love. For anyone aged mid-twenties and up, this could very well be the serum for you. Check it out here at the Clarins website where you can pick it up for £55 with free delivery.

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